SUSTAINING SUPPORT FOR GREATER MIAMI’S LGBTQ COMMUNITY DURING COVID-19

For the past 15 years, The Miami Foundation has been grateful to partner with the National LGBTQ Task Force to provide grants that strengthen the LGBTQ community in our region. The Task Force, the nation’s oldest LGBTQ advocacy group, has donated a portion of the proceeds from its annual Gala Miami and Winter Party Festival back to the Greater Miami community, making it the only national organization to do so. More than $3.3 million has been donated to the Foundation’s LGBTQ Community Fund. Dozens of local LGBTQ advocates have served on the Fund Committee to annually make grants that improve quality of life for LGBTQ residents in Greater Miami, and strengthen organizations seeking to make a difference in the lives of LGBTQ people

The urgent needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic required us to accelerate our 2020 process and award $200,000 in grants. Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, shared: “We know the need for resources is critical and urgent for the South Florida LGBTQ community. Through our long-standing partnership with The Miami Foundation and its LGBTQ Community Fund, we are pleased to be able to give this year’s contribution early so the local Fund Committee can deploy these funds more quickly to address urgent community issues.”

The Foundation modified our process to increase speed, minimize requests of people’s time during a crisis, and leverage insights from our long history doing this work. Traditionally, we announce an open call for proposals in June and engage the Fund Committee in application review, interviews, and grant decisions in September. But urgency called for us to adapt.

Since 2005, the LGBTQ Community Fund has awarded nearly 350 grants to 89 nonprofit organizations – and gained rich learning from the grant proposals of many more. Through grantees’ remarkable work, and the annual open application process, the Foundation and Fund Committee have gained deep and unique understanding, knowledge, relationships and insight. All were vital for us and committee members from prior years to leverage this year and set priorities to strategically deploy the $200,000 we had available, addressing urgent LGBTQ community needs during the coronavirus pandemic response.

The priorities we focused on to guide our decision-making were to support: active local organizations with LGBTQ-specific missions – that is, a core mission to serve the needs and advance the causes of LGBTQ residents; nonprofits that have proven themselves impactful in the community over time; and organizations that are addressing issues escalated by COVID-19 through direct services or advocacy work for vulnerable populations that were established priorities of the Fund, including transgender persons, seniors, youth, and persons of color. Some grants were larger than the $2,500 to $15,000 range in the standard guidelines, so the number of awards are fewer and more strategic.

The LGBTQ Community Fund is proud to announce awards to these 11 organizations. It is our privilege to sustain, support and celebrate the work and achievements of LGBTQ organizations that are such a vital and valued part of The Miami Foundation’s mission to improve life for all the residents of Greater Miami.

5 Comments
  • Vanessa Tinsley
    Posted at 16:40h, 21 July Reply

    Such a blessing to read this post. I applaud the foundation for it’s pro-activity in accelerating funding for this vulnerable population so organizations can be present now, when the help is needed most. We are fortunate in Miami-Dade to have such incredible organizations as those listed here working on behalf of our LBGTQ community. Congratulations and well done!

  • Abigail Watson
    Posted at 03:07h, 22 July Reply

    Maybe the Miami Fdn should reconsider how they award grants when one of these organizations has consistently been promoted racism and harmed homeless queer youth for years @Pridelines

    • The Miami Foundation
      Posted at 22:33h, 24 July Reply

      Hi Abigail, we truly appreciate you bringing these concerns to our attention. Equity is a core value of our work at the Foundation. We take your input seriously and will look into this.

  • A FORMER Pridelines Youth
    Posted at 14:48h, 24 July Reply

    The greatest problem of all here is Pridelines. Lets go one by one for what they say they are vs the truth, from someone who dealed with them for years. And before I say what I am going to say we all know that they will lie and try to say they’re gonna fix it all now! Or they will say its all because a youth was killed so now people are speaking up. People been speaking up trying to change things for the better but the leaders hide from accountability and its only gotten worse.

    They say it is a LGBT center. It is not really a LGBT center at all. It is a art gallery filled with “art” ($$$$$) made by the CEO mom and his friends.

    Hot meals? They say they provide food. It’s old donated food and many time they do not even have anything. Or they wanna give you bread and scraps. Only the toaster oven and microwave works.

    Fundraisers. well they stay raising money but the staff always says there is no money to do or buy anything. They like to make youth speak at their gayla each year to keep up the fairy tale to the community, but the CEO tells the youths what to say.

    Transportation. They say they give our bus passes. Most the time they don’t have any at all or they don’t work or they tell you no bc you didn’t sit through a group that you may have no interest about.

    Showers. They say they have showers. Not really as it is only at certain times and its always an issue to use it.

    Laundry. They say they have laundry but none of it ever works right and its a fire hazard with how hot it gets. The dryer probably still broke as we speak. Had people hanging clothes on a clothline.

    Clothing closet. They barely wanna open it or they stand over you while you try to find something and make you feel like they think your stealing something that they got donated free anyway.

    Youth program? They say they have programs for youth after all they used to be “Pridelines Youth Services” yet there have been barely any youth going for a while now. they hired a white lady who yelled at everyone for even breathin. People would literally try to hide from her but she always sat up front making you not even wanna enter the place to begin with and she was always gossiping about everyone. then they hired a coach to run the youth program who constantly abuse her own employee who was an actual youth. And when other youth tried to speak up about this they canceled the meeting about it. Youth little by little stopped going. She was horrible to the few youth that did keep going. She was always telling youth how she gonna fight other staff and telling youth private business to other youth. Made the space became very unsafe with her even cussing at youth. All the good youth programs that did used to be fun started disapearing, no more camp out or anything but they still get this money for a youth program. The youth that came after all this only did bc they need d food or a place to sleep. But she even wouldn’t let them sleep even if they were homeless even she would make them get up and call youth lazy and kick them out early because she wants to go home.

    Free holistic-services. They say they have free massage and acupuncture and hypnotics. This is never for youth but also people will drive 30min for this and find out its cancel and you always hear them upset. It’s all volunteers who do these free services so guess you get what you pay for.

    They treat their employees horrible and run them like they machines. Everyone is always saying they are gonna be fired next. Anyone who ever did actually care there either left bc they could not take it anymore or got fired. Faces changes constantly.

    They say its a safe environment. Lol…. Well obviously not even close.

    HIV testing. Well yeah they do still do this. Except that people really don’t come in, so it makes you wonder about that too.

    They need to shut it all down.

    • The Miami Foundation
      Posted at 13:33h, 03 August Reply

      We appreciate you sharing these concerns. As noted above, we take your input seriously and will continue to look into this and provide an update soon.

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